Have a Story to Tell? Had a medical error?

This blog is about patient safety, medical malpractice, staying healthy, and preventing future errors. Help & empower someone else, Teach a lesson, Bear witness, Build our community - Email us or call 781-444-5525.

Frustrated with a health problem?

Need an ally in your health crisis? Call 781-444-5525, or learn more.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Life rolls on: Living after a spinal injury

At 17, Jesse Billauer aspired to be a professional surfer. Then one day in 1996, while surfing off a Southern Californian beach, a wave knocked him into a sandbar and broke his neck, leaving him quadriplegic. Friends and neighbors raised money for Jesse's medical expenses. After a few years, when his medical bills were paid, he and his brother Josh decided to use the money to start an organization that would raise awareness about spinal cord injury as well as money for research.

"After my injury everyone kept saying, 'Well, life goes on,' and I thought, No, life rolls on," Jesse says.

So far, Life Rolls On has raised more than $1 million, says Josh, who serves as chairman of the board.

"When you've put all the effort in and see the smiling faces of people surfing who never thought they could even get into the ocean, you tend not to dwell on how much time and energy went into everything," Josh says.

Advice to people who have suffered great misfortune: Look for some way you can get your life to roll on through doing something you love.

Browse for similar stories in our index at the very bottom of this page, or read another story on a gritty athlete who became a fund-raiser.

Thanks to Stephanie Cajigal for the source story in the January/February issue of Neurology Now.

No comments: